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  • A beautiful Christmas story

    Hannah is a shopkeeper in Stockholm and lives with her boyfriend. She takes pride in the shop although it hasn’t been doing as well as she has hoped. When her brother Rob’s friend Nico stops by her shop, the two become reacquainted quickly. Nico is now a single father of eight year old Josie from his former marriage. Hannah enjoys Nico’s company and looks forward to seeing him again at Rob’s upcoming wedding in her hometown of Middledip. Nico thoroughly enjoys his life as a single father, but between work and Josie he hasn’t much time for anything else. When he brings Josie to see her mother for an overnight stay, it’s very evident that he cannot leave her here. In fact, he cannot leave Josie’s two year old half-sister Maria there either. Suddenly his life has become much more complicated. At the wedding, Hannah and Nico spend some time together dancing and talking and Hannah realizes that the relationship with her boyfriend has lost its magic. When Hannah returns from the wedding, she is surprised to learn that she has lost her shop, her home and her boyfriend. She returns to Middledip to care for her Nana and to start repairing her life. Hannah and Nico develop a strong friendship and romance, but will it be strong enough to overcome so many obstacles? This is a beautiful story perfect for the Christmas season. I really appreciated how this book felt as though I was observing a real story. I loved these children and the sweet element they bring to the story. I appreciated the therapeutic relationship between Hannah and Nico and the spirit of giving and helping others. There was a key message in this enchanting story - one that speaks of keeping yourself healthy first and understanding the limitations when helping others. The author provides great character development of the protagonists and I felt I really knew and liked the characters. The story is engaging, and a joy to read. I listened to the audiobook version which was narrated by Julia Woodwind. I really enjoyed her performance and found her voice to be crisp and articulate. I particularly enjoyed her portrayal of Maria and her charming “My Dad”! I listened to this book at 1.5x speed which is slightly faster than my normal speed of 1.25x. I would definitely recommend the audiobook version of the book to those that enjoy this format.

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  • Charming & Wonderfully Festive

    Christmas Wishes is a wonderful romance story, a light, uplifting read that many people look for at Christmas time. The main characters are extremely likeable and Hannah Goodbody's passion for her quaint little shop of luxury items located in Stockholm contrasts nicely with Nico's position as a man juggling family commitments without help. He quits his job and with two young children, Maria and Josie to care for and no job, he moves back to his hometown of Middledip, Cambridgeshire to start life afresh. Hannah also moves back to Middledip when she splits with her no-good boyfriend, Albin, and loses her beloved shop in Stockholm. Set in both Stockholm and Cambridgeshire, I loved reading about the Christmas traditions of Sweden which made a perfect festive backdrop for part of the story. Even though the Yuletide tale included some pretty hard-hitting themes including bulimia and alcohol misuse it was still a soothing and uplifting read with its comforting demeanor. It was wonderful to see a great friendship emerge between Hannah and Nico along with a growing sense of love. Bobbing between the perspectives of Hannah and Nico, the story had its twists and turns resulting in a thoroughly engrossing, charming novel. My first book by Sue Moorcroft I thought the author's writing style was a good fit for me. The audiobook was narrated by Julia Winwood and listening to the story was a terrific decision. I thought it was narrated really well and she brought the perfect amount of festive oomph to the proceedings, infusing the right emotions and character distinctions. All in all, Christmas Wishes is a fantastic, feel-good, Christmassy romance, that I can highly recommend. 😊 🎅🏻 ❄🎄 I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Avon Books and HarperCollins Audio UK via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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